CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that it will not utilise the funds of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) department for establishing the government senior citizen and old age homes in the State.
R Shunmugasundaram, Advocate General, made this submission before the vacation bench of Justice GR Swaminathan and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy. The judges were hearing a petition filed by TR Ramesh seeking direction to quash the move of the state government to utilise the temple funds to establish the old age homes.
The petitioner submitted that the State government had made an announcement in January to utilise the funds worth Rs 35 crore of various HR and CE temples to establish the senior citizen homes in the state which is against the TN HR&CE Act.
“There are no trustees or hereditary trustees serving in many temples in the State. However, the government has been appointing government employees to the post of executive officers and they are exercising the duties of the trustees which is against the law. Therefore, the government appointed EOs could not sanction the temple funds without the consent of the trustees for establishing the old age homes, ” the petitioner argued.
Responding to the submissions, the AG informed that the government is taking steps to fill the trustees' vacancies by appointing the government committees. “Therefore, the temple funds will not be used for the next six weeks for establishing any old age homes,” the AG submitted. The matter was adjourned to June 13.